How to be Popular on Stan Twitter

a lesbian and her laptop

Stan Twitter is a tricky place with many unwritten rules and social codes. But fear not! This handy guide provides you with tips and tricks in the six main categories of Stan Twitter: Handle/name, header/icon, account info, pinned tweet, interaction and group chats, and daily tweets. Lesson number one, know that Stan Twitter often overlaps with Gay Twitter. Like the Kinsey Scale but one end Stan Twitter and one end Gay Twitter. Buckle up and get ready to become popular!



Handle and Twitter Name

Your twitter handle and name are the most important parts of gaining some status on Stan Twitter. It’s the very first thing you choose when setting up an account, and one of the first things followers are going to remember you by

Handle

  • Your handle (@) has to be related to your fandom.
  • Just know that your fandom will change.
  • And also that all the good…

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Where have I been?

For anyone who, for whatever reason, is still following this blog despite my utter lack of content – hello again! I know it’s been a while. I don’t really have a proper excuse for not posting anything in so long; life happened, writing motivation kept slipping away from me, and frankly, it’s been hard to think of writing for fun when finding a job in my field has seemed like a distant and unreachable dream recently. (I know this won’t be the case forever; it’s just how it feels right now after countless rejections and unsuccessful interviews). And this isn’t me trying to make anyone feel sorry for me in any way. I just wanted to explain so y’all have an idea of where I’m at right now.

To sum up, here’s a little update of some stuff that’s happened since I last posted on here many moons ago (in no particular order):

  • Graduated from university with a degree in Creative Writing
  • Started a proper YouTube channel
  • Did a month’s work experience writing for PinkNews
  • Got more tattoos
  • Came out as a transgender man
  • Wrote a cook book for students
  • Attended a bunch of AMAZING conventions for The 100
  • Went to Amsterdam with my sister (our first independent holiday!)
  • Gave a speech at Winchester University’s Transgender Symposium
  • Started testosterone (!!!)
  • Spoke on the Gender Identity panel at Summer in The City
  • Had a poem published in a mental health poetry anthology
  • Finally grew a moustache
  • Went to my first-ever Trans Pride parade
  • Met CHER!!!
  • Got referred to Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic to talk about top surgery

Clearly some very cool stuff has happened over the past couple of years. However, there has also been some not-so-good stuff that I don’t want to delve into too much yet, involving my mental health and needing to get that sorted. But I have an amazing network of people around me who are supportive and understanding, so don’t worry about me too much in that respect.

There isn’t really much point to this post, to be honest. It was honestly just NICE feeling like I wanted to write again, so I’m making the most of that feeling in case it slips away again for a while.

I am hoping to start posting more on here, along with continuing to upload content to my YouTube channel on a regular basis (which can be found here, for anyone who might be interested).

Anyway, that’s about it for now, folks! I hope you’re all having a good day/evening/night wherever you are, and hopefully I’ll speak to you all again soon.

 

#Survival2: The Aftermath

Where I let the words fall out...

I’ve just come back from a weekend in London at Survival 2 – a three day convention for fans of The 100 where cast members and fans get to interact and celebrate each other. This was my 6th Starfury convention, but it didn’t just feel like all the others. It stood out. Along with Survival last year, these two conventions have truly changed me as a person and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Last year, it provided a safe place for me to connect with people over the death of Lexa. I wrote an entire blog post about it on here, so you can read it if you like. But it came along at the perfect time and provided me with so much comfort and happiness at a time that I really needed it.

This year was just as special, but for different reasons.

I’ve struggled a…

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On the scales!

Whenever I tell people that I have two cats at home, I’m usually met with “aww!” and “what are their names?” But whenever I tell people that I also have two Carolina corn snakes, the reactions can be quite different. I’ve had people squirm and grimace and retch, but I’ve also had people’s eyes light up as they ramble on about how much they love snakes and ask what breed mine are and demand all the details. I tend to enjoy the second reaction more.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why people may feel a little squeamish about snakes as a choice of pet. For most people, they seem to be emotionless predators who kill innocent baby mice and sometimes humans, and this stigma is so ingrained in people that it’s hard for them to see past it. However, my mum was a person who definitely was not fond of snakes before we had ours (when we first got him, she refused to feed him or do anything for him really) until she came to see that he was actually a harmless softie who just wants to sleep a lot and occasionally curl around a person’s wrist and relax there.

Something I’ve also noticed is that, while many people think snakes would make boring pets, they are actually really fascinating. I’ve had mine for a little over ten months now, and I’ve definitely noticed that they have their own personalities and mannerisms. Murphy, the aforementioned snake who lives at my mum’s, is a tiny little thing who can be quite skittish and shy. He’s about the length of my arm, and is definitely the dramatic one of the two – he has a habit of rattling his tail if anyone goes near him while he’s eating, which I find hilarious because he’s not a rattlesnake and that action is simply him trying to be scary but failing epically because he’s just too cute to be intimidating.

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Baby Murphy on the first day we met, my 21st birthday!

On the other hand, Octavia, my female snake at my dad’s, is a slightly different story. I don’t know if it’s because she was fed twice a week by her breeder as opposed to once a week like Murphy was, but she has grown insanely fast since we got her back in June. While Murphy is still small enough that we can hold him in one hand, Octavia has grown so much that I’m able to put her around my neck like a scarf. Her temperament is vastly different too – she’s much more chill than Murphy, choosing to find a place to settle, be it an arm or a neck or a pocket, and being more than happy to stay there for hours, as my sister discovered a few weeks ago when Octavia slithered into her dressing gown pocket and promptly proceeded to fall asleep in there.

Snake 2 - Octavia
Octavia being a beautiful poser when I picked her up from the pet shop!

And I know this probably isn’t going to change people’s minds about snakes – I’ve been fighting that battle for a while now, and have only managed to win round a couple of people – but I just wanted to express my love for these interesting and (often wrongly) feared animals, and to show everyone how damn cute they can be!

Don’t be judgmental – it’s not cool.

So I’ve been thinking lately about people’s perceptions of others and how different they can be compared to how a person actually is. For example, I am a very organised person – mainly because if I don’t get work done quite a bit before the deadline, then I tend to panic and get extremely anxious which is detrimental to my mental health. So I manage my time well and make sure I get work done early to avoid adding stress to my life. Understandably, people pick up on this, and say a lot of things like “Steph, you’re so chill all the time” and “You never seem stressed about work!”

But the thing is, the reason I seem so “chill” is BECAUSE I get my work done early. If I didn’t, then I’d be a nervous wreck basically all the time and I’d most likely end up having a breakdown and being unable to do anything productive with my life. So people joke about how ridiculously early I do my assignments and how I’m a “nerd” for always being on top of things, but really that’s all an intentional and effective way for me to keep myself stable and calm.

I’m not really sure what the aim of this post is – I guess I just wanted to make a point about judging people and how you never really know what’s going on inside a person’s head. So before you make a snide comment about a person or feel jealous because they’re “always finished before everyone else”, maybe take a moment to think about why they’re like that, or you may end up mocking something that could, for them, be a very important coping mechanism that helps them handle things and not become overwhelmed and stressed out.

‘The 100’ can now tick ‘dead lesbian trope’ off its bucket list.

This was originally going to be a post about the positive aspects of The 100 and why it’s such a revolutionary show, and while I still think parts of it are great, something happened during this week’s episode that really messed stuff up for a lot of fans, particularly fans in the LGBT+ community. So I thought it would be interesting to post what I’d written for the original post, and then compare that to how I feel now after the new episode.

Okay, so here is the material I had originally written, intended to praise the show and its amazing approach to queer characters and LGBT+ representation.

So the first notable thing I want to talk about is the show’s approach to sexual orientation and relationships. Now, obviously The 100 isn’t the first show to have queer characters – but while shows like Glee and Faking It have included bisexual characters in their respective repertoires, the portrayal of these characters hasn’t always been respectful, and often panders to the harmful and inaccurate stereotypes that people apply to bisexuals. The 100, on the other hand, does an outstanding job of not only incorporating queer characters into the show in a natural and organic way, but does so in a way that paints them as simply what they are: human. Not only is The 100 the first show to have a canon bisexual female lead in the form of Clarke Griffin, it is made even better by the fact that it doesn’t exploit this or use Clarke’s sexuality as her defining characteristic; she is bisexual as much as she is blonde, as much as she is brave, and as much as she is adorable. Her sexual orientation is treated simply as a part of herself, as opposed to being treated as the only part of herself, and that is such a refreshing thing to see.

We then also have Lexa, the young leader of the Grounders, who is canonically a lesbian and ends up becoming romantically involved with Clarke. This is again phenomenal, as we now have two canon queer ladies being badass leaders, and along with being exciting, it has proven to be a very important thing for young LGBT+ people – not only are they being given excellent representation for sexuality, but they also get to see two queer characters having a healthy and normalised relationship. There aren’t any of the tropes you see in a lot of media – no queer-baiting, no death, no uncertainty within the relationship because they are both women. Their genders are irrelevant in their love for one another, and that in itself has inspired so many people to come out and be themselves and to love who they are, because, to quote Clarke Griffin herself: “Maybe life should be about more than just surviving. Don’t we deserve better than that?”

Okay, so that’s where I got to with the post BEFORE I watched the new episode. Now, here’s when things are going to get rough. I really don’t like being negative about things, but boy oh boy, do I have some negative things to say now. [Warning; spoilers ahead]

Alright, here we go. One thing I emphasised a lot in the original post was the show’s refreshing attitude towards abolishing queer tropes, namely queer-baiting and the ‘lesbian death’ trope. Up until now, the writers had made it clear that Clarke and Lexa were an official thing, and that if fans stuck around then we’d be rewarded with something great. Well, we were rewarded with something alright – Lexa’s death.

Yes, while the writers were tweeting words of encouragement about how Clexa were going to make it and how we shouldn’t lose hope and we should just keep watching and “wait and see”, they were also very much aware that they were going to kill off one of the show’s most beloved characters. By luring us in and giving us false hope, they boosted their ratings, gained many new fans and admirers, and received praise from a lot of people about how “progressive” they were – and none of us had any idea what they really had planned.

I think a lot of fans agree with me when I say that I feel betrayed. I feel let down by the writers, because they let me believe that, for the first time in a long time, the queer characters weren’t going to be stepped on. We thought our ‘ship’ wasn’t going to be pushed aside to make room for a heterosexual pairing, wasn’t going to be used to boost ratings, wasn’t going to be exploited for the ‘shock factor’. We put our trust and faith in this show and its writers to treat us right, by not only giving us two amazing queer characters, but by then having these characters be romantically involved, and ultimately, happy. After Tara Maclay, Maya St. Germain, Naomi Campbell, Dana Fairbanks, Delphine Cormier – we thought this time, things would be different. But we were wrong. After a season and a half of romantic build-up, sexual tension, arguments, make-ups, ‘maybes’ and ‘almosts’, we were given the thing we craved most – two beautiful, strong women, unashamedly in love with each other and willing to work together to save the world – only to have it all ripped out from under us.

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I think one of the things I’m most disgusted about is where they placed Lexa’s death scene. So this episode includes a scene where Clarke and Lexa sleep together for the first time and are allowed a few minutes of genuine bliss during some rare alone time, and not five minutes later, Lexa is dying in Clarke’s arms. The message that sends is, “Queer girls may be happy for a little while, but it never lasts.” And that is a very harmful message to send out, as was proven the next day via social media. The backlash from this episode was staggering, not to mention upsetting. So many people had invested their hopes into this couple – some even going so far as to come out to their parents because Clexa made them feel so secure and empowered – but then seeing it pan out in such a terrible way did a lot of damage. I don’t even think the writers are aware of the negative impact this has had on so many people; I myself found it difficult to think of anything else for days afterwards. And I know to some people this may be hard to understand – “it’s just a TV show” is a phrase favoured by many – but you have to see it from our perspective. We aren’t just mourning the loss of a loved fictional character; we’re mourning what she represents. Lexa’s death reinforces the age-old idea that queer people aren’t as important as their straight counterparts. That our stories aren’t as valid. That we are disposable and can be used for the shock factor or to gain viewers but that ultimately, our stories don’t matter. And that hurts.

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And you know what the worst part is? The fact that one of the main people involved in the show tweeted about this turn of events and referred to it as a ‘twist ending’ that would ‘shock everyone’ – but none of us were shocked at all. None of us were surprised that a queer relationship had yet again ended in death and heartbreak – we were just devastated that it had happened on a show that had previously given us so much hope and had really made us believe that things would end differently for once.

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Trying something new!

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve stumbled across my blog. Welcome! I’m Steph.

Blogging is something that is relatively new to me (unless you count Tumblr, which a lot of people don’t considering the fact that it consists mainly of cat gifs and text posts about food). But I figured I’d give it a go and see what happens.

This blog is going to involve a hodgepodge of different topics and posts, mainly because I have a lot of things to say about a lot of stuff. Sounds intellectual, I know. I’ll try to post once every week or so, depending on the levels of hectic nonsense occurring in my life, so stick around if you fancy seeing what I’ve got to say about things.

Well, I think that’s about it for now. (I mean, I’m currently eating peaches out of a tin while crying on, I mean, WORKING ON, my dissertation, so I think it’s time to bring this to a close). So yeah, thank you for taking the time to stop and read this, whoever you are, and until next time, I bid you fair winds!